Celebration combines with Holi on April 27

Carole Hodorowicz, Staff Reporter

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Two traditions on Eastern’s campus will combine for the first time ever this April.

Celebration: A Festival of the Arts, a campus tradition dedicated to featuring local musicians, artists and more since 1977, will be held Saturday, April 27 to Sunday, April 28 on South 7th Street between Buzzard Hall and Doudna Fine Arts Center.

On that same Saturday, Eastern’s annual Holi celebration, also known as the “Festival of Colors,” will be taking place in the same location.

Bethanny Cougill, international student coordinator, said Holi has been combined with Celebration in order to promote the event to more than just the students and get the entire community involved.

Santhosh Aerram, the president of the Indian Student Association, came up with the idea.

“This festival signifies the victory of good over evil,” said Santhosh. “On this merry day, individuals play with colors, meet and welcome each other and create new beginnings.”

While preparing for this event, there are two important things that are always taken into consideration: buying the right colorful powder and setting up the music.

Those who attend Holi wear white and dance to music in a cloud of different colored powders and waters.

In addition to the 200 pounds of powder from last year, Cougill said another 200 pounds was bought in anticipation of an increase in attendees since the festival will be overlapping with Celebration.

Cougill said there are over 300 international students on campus, with the biggest group being from India. However, Holi is a celebration for everyone.

“The main aim of this festival is the winning of good over the bad. Anybody can celebrate that,” Aerram said.

Holi’s beginning is so ancient the actual start date is unknown.

It began in India and the tradition has since been adopted by other Asian countries as well as some European countries to celebrate the victory of good over evil as well as the end of the “dark days,” or winter, to welcome the spring.

Aerram said his favorite part of celebrating Holi is the colors and the liveliness they hold.

“I like that it involves everybody,” Cougill said. “It has a definite history to it, but it’s a good thing to celebrate no matter where you’re from. It involves anybody, from any ages, from any different countries you’re from.”

Holi will begin on Saturday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. Before the celebration, international students will perform on stage in a variety of talents that represent their cultures, from showcasing traditional fashion to performing music and creating art.

Carole Hodorowicz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].